ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque’s Park and Recreation Department will be hosting its second annual Polar Bear Plunge which will benefit the ABQ BioPark’s polar bears and penguins in addition to the Shanta Strong Swim Fund. The event will take place on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. at the West Mesa Aquatic Center.

The City of Albuquerque states the Shanta Strong Swim Fund helps to pay for swim lessons for children in need of financial assistance. The fund was named after former lifeguard Shanta Hanish who was murdered along with her mother in their Nob Hill home in 2019.

To participate, attendees must make a minimum $40 tax-deductible donation. Donations of $50 or more will include the chance to enter the pool by doing down one of the slides.

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In a news release, the City states that all participants will receive a commemorative towel. Those who “take the plunge” will jump into 40-degree waters of the outdoor slide pool which has been specially prepared for the event.

Free hot cocoa and polar bear snacks will be available for those who participate. Those interested are encouraged to pre-register online and also have the ability to create their own fundraising page for the event.

Day of registrations will be accepted but participants are encouraged to pre-register.